Presidents Advance to WATFCU Championship Game
WASHINGTON, Pa. – Washington & Jefferson College freshman guard Andy Carter (North Huntingdon, Pa./Norwin) sparked a 20-2 second-half run to lead the Presidents to a 62-52 victory Saturday night over Pitt-Titusville in the first round of the Washington Area Teachers Federal Credit Union Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Henry Memorial Center.
The Presidents (2-0) will now face Davenport (Mich.) in the championship game Sunday at 4:00 pm. The Panthers (6-0) defeated Muskingum in the first game by a score of 54-37.
Pitt-Titusville (3-4) jumped out to a 31-25 halftime lead after holding the Presidents to 27 percent (8-of-30) shooting. Mark Houston had 10 points, 13 rebounds and three steals to lead UPT.
The Panthers led by 11 points twice in the first six minutes of the second half before the Presidents used the 20-2 rally to take control. Carter and freshman swingman Mitch Locher (Pittsburgh, Pa./Avonworth) both scored two baskets during the run, while junior forward R.J. Pilato (Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield) drilled a pair of key three-pointers.
Aaron Barton’s basket with 2:39 remaining narrowed the gap to 54-51, but Carter connected on a pair of free throws and then hit a runner with 1:44 left to seal the victory.
Carter and junior guard Zach Bellhy (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry) led the Presidents with 17 points, while Pilato added 10. Pilato and Locher both grabbed eight rebounds.
W&J shot 33 percent (20-of-61) and forced 17 turnovers. Exactly half of the Presidents’ points (31) came from their bench.
Houston paced the Panthers with 14 points and 20 rebounds. UPT shot 34 percent (22-of-65), but only made 9-of-33 shots in the second half.